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IL family lawyerLife after divorce is filled with various changes. Not only do couples have to learn how to live on their own, but many feel as if they are completely starting over. Though spouses may be adjusting to doing things on their own, parenting does not normally fall under this same category. Parenting after finalizing a divorce is not meant to be done alone. In most cases, judges rule in favor of joint custody in order to keep both parents in the child’s life. Though co-parenting can make things easier for both spouses, it does require adjustments from both parents.

Parenting Styles

There are four different types of parenting styles. Often times people do not realize which parenting style they use until they are parenting primarily alone. Understanding and recognizing your parenting style versus your ex-spouse’s is important in learning how to adjust the ways in which you parent after your divorce.

  • Authoritarian: This style of parenting puts all of the power into the hands of the parents while giving none to the children. Those who use authoritarian parenting are often strict with discipline and communication is primarily one-sided.
  • Permissive: Permissive parents take on a role that is similar to friendship. Though they offer some guidance, these parents allow their children to make many decisions for themselves.
  • Uninvolved: This parenting style does not involve much guidance or “parenting”. These children have complete autonomy and make their own decisions.
  • Authoritative: This style of parenting is known as the happy medium. Parents who utilize this form have a balance between strict discipline and nurturing guidance.

Co-Parenting Tips

While identifying you and your ex’s parenting techniques can be helpful with co-parenting, there are a variety of other ways in which co-parenting can run smoothly.

  • It is important to have uniformity across households. Though your parenting styles may be different, consistency is beneficial in a child’s life. Having the same rules in both houses eliminates many problems regarding what is expected of the child and how you both wish to raise him/her.
  • Agreeing on positive discussion is crucial. Neither spouse should express their negative personal feelings for their ex. This can force children to feel divided between both parents and cause a child to adopt one parent’s opinion of the other.
  • Stay in contact with your ex-spouse. Though there may be tension between you two, it is important to communicate with your child’s other parent to remain fully knowledgeable about their lives. This communication does not necessarily have to be done in person. Many divorced couples rely on phone calls and emails. The form of communication is less important than the overall need to talk.

Contact an Illinois Parenting Agreement Attorney

Co-parenting is a skill that must be learned after the logistics of a divorce are settled. Written parenting plans are an Illinois requirement for those who are granted joint custody. It is important to have an experienced attorney to help make these decisions concrete in the eyes of the court. Shaw Family Law, P.C. has experience in all aspects of the divorce process. Contact our Kane County divorce attorneys for a free consultation at 630-584-5550.

 

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 Illinois divorce lawyerIf anybody told you co-parenting was easy, they were either lying to you or woefully misinformed. Co-parenting with your former partner can be quite a challenge after your divorce, even if the divorce itself was fairly amicable. When your parenting styles differ, it can be difficult to find a “middle ground” that serves your children in terms of structure, expectations, discipline, and parental involvement in your children’s daily lives. But difficult does not mean impossible. You can work cooperatively with your former spouse to co-parent your children, but you both have to be willing to be flexible. Keep the following in mind as you, your former spouse, and your children settle into their new parenting plan.

Communicate Your Concerns

Put your negative feelings toward your former spouse aside and talk to him or her about your children. If you have concerns about the way he or she is parenting your children, discuss them. You should not feel entitled to control how your former spouse parents your children, but you should also feel comfortable raising concerns with him or her and expect that your concerns be validated.

Be Willing to Be Flexible

Adjusting to life with a parenting plan is a big change for every member of your family. The reality of life with a parenting plan could look very different from the lifestyle you envisioned, and when this is the case, be willing to adjust your expectations and adapt your lifestyle to your children’s needs. After all, your child’s parenting plan is for his or her benefit, not yours or your former spouse’s.

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 Illinois divorce lawyerIn the 1960s, developmental psychologist Diana Baumrind identified three distinct parenting styles: authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive. Later, researchers Maccoby and Martin theorized that the parenting style identified as permissive by Baumrind has two types, indulgent and uninvolved. Identifying and understanding your parenting style can help you co-parent with your former partner and relate to your child more effectively. When the court develops a parenting agreement, it considers the child’s relationship with each parent and each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s needs, which can both be tied to the parent’s parenting style. Keep in mind that very few parents fit neatly into one of the boxes below. Rather, these types are the pillars of a parenting style spectrum, and nearly all parents fall somewhere between two or more of these pillars.

Authoritarian

Authoritarian parents are commonly known as “strict parents.” Rather than discussing why rules and boundaries exist, these parents expect their children to obey without question. Authoritarian parents often have high expectations of their children and generally use punishment as a means to encourage compliance with these expectations and control their children’s behavior.

Authoritarian parenting is correlated with insecurity, low self-esteem, mental health problems, and poor social skills in children.

Authoritative

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